Find Your Center

Dear NLS Family and Friends,
I find it easy to be “dog tired” with four dogs surrounding me. Our two (Gretchen and Chloe), and Rachael’s two (Danny and Darla), become very vocal when it comes to wanting to go outside. Any little thing can set them off: a neighbor’s dog barks, a car passes, a kid rides his bike, or a bug crawls twenty-five feet from the front door. Their reaction is always the same: four highly energized pups quickly spring into action: peering out the windows, running to the front door, jumping up and down, and barking uncontrollably. (Of the four, Chloe has the most obnoxious bark!)
I try to ignore them, but it doesn’t work. I try to be louder than they are, but that doesn’t work. So I get up, go through the garage to the side door and let them out. Blessed quietness – for about five minutes. Then they bark one at a time to get back inside the house. I call for them all to come in at one time, but that doesn’t work, so I get up four times to let four dogs inside. They settle down until the next distraction, and then the scene repeats itself.
This morning got to be a little much as I wore a path back and forth from the couch to the door. I asked myself, “Who’s in charge here – me or them?” And, with great fanfare, I closed every window blind. “Center!” I demanded as I closed the outside out. “There is more in this world than you four dogs!” My hope was that these dogs would finally calm down and give me peace of mind, and eventually they did. But I had to shut the world out for them to even hear me.
The thought came to me that at times I am as distracted as they are. I move from window to window, intently looking out, watching for whatever catches my eye. I run to and fro, in and out, going from one distraction to another.  Sometimes I am not even finished with one distraction until I move on to the next. I can almost hear the Lord say, “Center! There is more in this world than just you!” 
Could it be that the Lord is trying to distract you and me from the distractions that keep distracting us?  Could it be that he wants to give us “time out” from the frantic pace of the world by leading us to our personal prayer closets?  Could it be that he wants us to be more Mary than Martha, leaving the hustle and bustle of what we think is important to where we can sit at his feet and become centered with the One that should be Center of our universe?
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:8-9)
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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